That’s What’s Up Thursday: Burt Hummel


Logo of the TV series Glee.
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This week’s installment of Glee was fantastic. The fact they brought back the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow to play a sexy sex ed teacher was brilliant, just brilliant. Throughout the entire episode I was constantly found myself agreeing with their messages about sex and sexuality and I was in a really good place. I didn’t think the episode could get any better. That was until the scene between Kurt Hummel and his father, Burt Hummel, happened.

One of the story lines in the episode was about Kurt’s inexperience with sex. His best friend (and pseudo-crush) Blaine Anderson makes fun of Kurt’s ‘sexy’ faces and tries to coach him toward having a more sultry appearance. All of his work was going nowhere. What followed was an awkward scene where Blaine tries to confront Burt about not having ‘the talk’ with his son. Blaine argued that accepting his son wasn’t enough, he needed to make sure he was safe and protected, especially in regards to sexual activity. WOOF. Later in the show Burt sits Kurt down and tries to talk to him about safe sexuality in the best way he knew how – relating it to heterosexual folks (you win some, you lose some) but in a very convincing monologue he hit the nail on the head about sexuality. He said things that a lot of the people around me appreciated and man, I couldn’t say it better myself.

Kudos to the FOX Network (I NEVER thought I would EVER write those words) for stepping out of the mainstream box and acknowledging ‘alternative’ sexuality on a primetime show. In a time when LGBT teens are killing themselves at record rates they’ve stepped up to provide entertainment that the public needs. A show where everyone is affirmed no matter who they are. It would probably suffice that Burt accepts Kurt but they took it one step further. They challenged viewers to witness a talk that should happen in every family.

Teens are losing the places they would be able to have those talks in and it’s becoming more necessary that these talks happen at home. Parents need to start showing some more investment in their children’s lives (especially their lives as sexual beings.) Even if they refuse to have these talks, it’s amazing that they’re starting to be represented in the media. At the very least they can see someone who ‘looks like them’ or might have a similar situation to Kurt. Other popular shows must take their lead, show that they care about the people without a voice.

That’s What’s Up Burt. That’s What’s Up Ryan Murphy. That’s What’s Up FOX.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ashley says:

    I LOVED this episode! Also, I enjoyed the stroyline between Britney and Santana. Any opportunity to show different types of relationships and sexual expressions, the better.

    I will add to your post that not only do parents need to talk more with their children about sexuality and sexual health, but also places of worship. As an educator in a public school teaching sexual health, there are A LOT of things I can’t say. It really is a short leash. On the other hand, churches are able to have open discussion, and can be very effective in creating a safe space for youth.

    I have met ministers for sexuality from the United Church of Christ (their national office is in Cleveland) and staff from Unitarian Universalist groups that have been very successful in creating a space for young people to talk about their beliefs and values around sexuality in addition to recieving medically accurate infromation about sexual health. Faith leaders are great in leading discussions where young people can step away from the beliefs of their family, and create their own. This is something adults can benefits from as well, if never given the chance to do so before.

    As educators and people who work with young people it is imperative we reach out to different community leaders to create places for young people to develop and grow and create places for their parents to learn as well.

    1. Ashley you’re completely right! I’ll add your points to the post later. They’re so insightful. Thanks!

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